What's wrong with a little networking?

The one constant with the federal government’s overall social-networking policy is: There doesn’t seem to be one.

Access to sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook might be prohibited or permitted, depending on the agency.

The discomfort concerning social networking includes fears that employees will disclose sensitive or proprietary information, worries about productivity, and concern over social networks as a potential source of malware infection.

The U.S. government doesn’t have a clear policy regarding federal employees’ use of social networks, said David Gorodetski, co-founder and chief operations officer at Sage Communications.

Agencies can choose to establish internally hosted social-networking sites, which reduces security concerns. For example, in September, the intelligence community launched A-Space, a collaborative environment that resides on the classified Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

Such internal sites are behind government firewalls and thus are much more secure, Gorodetski said.

As for commercial sites, government agencies will need to make decisions on not only broadly based entities such as LinkedIn and Facebook but also on government-focused sites.

Govloop.com, for one, bills itself as the “premier social network connecting the government community.”

Gorodetski said another social-networking site, named Discover, is in beta testing and will be restricted to registrants from the .mil and .gov domains.

David Graziano, who leads Cisco Systems’ federal security practice, said he believes agencies will fall into two camps when it comes to Web 2.0 developments.

One camp will be agencies that shut down and discourage collaboration and perpetuate an environment of closed networks, he said. The other side will make the leap to Web 2.0.

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 1, 2009

Right, Mr. Graziano! How can anyone collaborate without Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? And stop the perpetuation of closed networks! Open them up! But, of course, never ever allow any breaches or attacks or data leakage on those networks.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group